Greetings Town of Newburgh Voters! My name is Donette Smith and I am a Democrat running for Town Council. I have lived in the Town for more than 17 years and have been actively involved in community affairs that support the health and safety of our residents, and that preserve the beauty of our Town. A few examples include having taken part in successful efforts to prevent changes to zoned residential areas, as well as openly opposing the Danskammer power plant which harms our environment. My credentials include being a licensed clinical social worker for more than 20 years, as well as being a Board Member of Keep It Moving, a local Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, and volunteer for We Are Newburgh.
I don’t come from money. I was raised in a working class family and relied on my resilience and determination to achieve. My father prided himself on never missing a day of work while caring for my mother who suffered from mental illness, while raising me and my two sisters. I wanted to go to college someday but I knew I would have to do it on my own because that was beyond anything my family could afford.
A few months before graduation I sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. The doctors at Westchester Medical Center and Helen Hayes Hospital told my parents that I would never be able to work or go to college anyway. I refused to accept that.
My education started at Orange County Community College and worked my way through until I finally received my Masters degree in social work with honors from Marywood University. I supported myself by working in a group home with the mentally ill, and then a local hospital.
I know hard work. I know determination to never give up. As a resident of the Town of Newburgh for the past 17 years I know the issues and the areas where the residents are getting less then they deserve. The Town deserves more and I will do the work that it takes.